The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), US space agency recently made a helluva announcement where they informed the world that they have discovered water on the moon's surface.
The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) confirmed that for the first time, water on the sunlit surface of the Moon has been discovered by the space agency.
We just announced that - for the first time - we’ve confirmed H2O💧 in sunlit☀️ areas of the Moon. This indicates that water might be distributed across the lunar surface. https://t.co/Gn0DSu5K95— NASA Moon (@NASAMoon) October 26, 2020
For the 1st time, molecular water was discovered on a sunlit surface of the Moon, suggesting water may not be limited to cold, shadowed places. Goddard postdoc Dr. Casey Honniball, made the discovery using NASA's @SOFIAtelescope airborne observatory. https://t.co/TUFKK8Rl9x pic.twitter.com/1wiy05yS4r— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) October 26, 2020
Explaining the potential of the discovery and what it means for the scientists' understanding of the moon so far, the agency tweeted, "This discovery challenges our understanding of how water behaves on the Moon. We thought that the water on the sunlit part of the Moon would have evaporated – but we found it! Now we must dig into how this water is created and how it persists."
It said that the findings will also help NASA establish a lunar base by tapping into the Moon's natural resources.
However, NASA's pathbreaking discovery of water on the moon has not gone down well with Russia with its media agency Sputnik claiming that the discovery made by the US had in fact already been found by the USSR almost 50 years ago.
The Sputnik in its report alleged that "if NASA scientists had read a bit more work from their Soviet colleagues, they might have realized that the Soviet Union's Luna 24 probe made this discovery in 1976."
"The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) dispatched dozens of probes to various objects in outer space, including the moon and Venus, making major contributions to humanity's knowledge of the solar system. However, their work was often ill-read by Western scientists," the media report said.
Talking about a paper published in 1978 in the journal of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, the media report said that the aforementioned report had pretty exhaustively explained the discovery of water on the lunar surface in the Mare Crisium crater.
The report further mentioned astronomy professor Arlin Crotts from the Columbia University, who had said that the soil samples brought from the moon back to Earth by the Luna 24 probe had shown using infrared absorption spectroscopy that the soil was composed of roughly 0.1 percent water by mass, with more water appearing further below the surface you went.